Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Polar Bear and Dirty Projectors - Live at Glasgow ABC2

This was a great double bill for £10.

I have seen Polar Bear and their various other incarnations several times in the past. They generally put on a good show and they did not disappoint tonight. They played a few new songs as well as a couple of older numbers that I recognised. I've got a couple of their CDs but I couldn't tell you any song titles. The drummer continues to have the most impressive hair in jazz. Google it.

Dirty Projectors are weird. I have their 'rise above' album which is a reinterpretation of 'damaged' by black flag in a female vocal/jazz manner. It's cool. Apparently the main guy did this from memory and had not listened to 'damaged' for several years when he did this. Sounds a bit Asperger's......

They did not disappoint live. The music was jerky and angular. The 3 female vocalists were present and supplied some interesting vocal harmonies. The band seemed very young. I was reminded of the Talking Heads. The singer looks a bit like Rich Hall, the american comedian. His jerky dancing made me think he had a movement disorder. Interesting chap. Their songs were great and they finished with a version of 'gimmie gimmie gimmie' infused with Black Flag anger. The only bad thing about the show was some heckling from two wankes standing in front of the mixing desk. They didn't realise that you can just fuck off home if you dislike the last band of the night. You don't need to stay and piss everyone else off.

I'm keen to see both bands again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Charlie Brooker

I've just finished reading 'Dawn of the Dumb' by Charlie Brooker. It's a collection of his journalism from the Guardian and it's rather entertaining. Brooker writes about modern society and television and he seems to share several of my opinions and attitudes.

He also wrote 'Dead Set' which was fucking brilliant and he presents 'Screen wipe' which is great. There is a new BBC4 show called 'News wipe' coming soon and I am looking forward to it.

To read some of his writing check out http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/charliebrooker

Saturday, March 07, 2009

WATCHMEN - the movie

I know I'm a sad bastard but I'd been desperate to see this film as soon as I heard that it was being made. I first read the book when I was far too young (10) in 1987 or 1988. I've probably read it again 50 or 60 times over the past 20 years. I own 3 copies. I admit to being a Watchmen nerd.

Having disclosed the above information I'll try and be unbiased in my review of the film. I liked it. It wasn't perfect but it was a good effort. The film stays true to the spirit and most of the plot of the comic. The characters are no more likeable than they should be. Rorschach continues to be a horrible little monster and Dr Manhattan is still inhuman. The Comedian is still an asshole and Nite Owl is still impotent.

The film looks good. It is apparent that the graphic novel was used to storyboard the film. At times it does look like a computer game but that is OK. The soundtrack is unsubtle and too high in the mix but otherwise inoffensive. The choice of songs is good if obvious.

The ending is slightly different but makes sense in the context of the film. A few minor sub-plots are missing but I hope these will resurface in the DVD.

This could have been very bad. Zack Snyder directed 300 which I hated. I do think it is good although my intimate knowledge of the book helped. I don't think this is a summer blockbuster and I think it is too slow and wordy for mainstream audiences. The people who saw the film without reading the book didn't really get it.

I'd give this 9 out of 10. See it if you are a Watchmen nerd.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Franz Ferdinand live at the Glasgow Barrowlands

I was trying to work out how many times I've seen Franz Ferdinand on my way home from last nights concert. I saw them at T in the Park, I saw them in Leicester, I saw them at the SECC and I saw them at the Grand Old Opry. I might have seen them in the ABC but I'm not sure. I know I saw the Blisters at least once.

I do like Franz Ferdinand. I thought their first two records were very good although the new album has not yet found a place in my heart. On a good night they are are an excellent live band.

Last night they seemed a bit stale. The big hits sounded good and energetic but for the rest of the gig the band seemed a bit tired. They seemed a bit bored. This was most apparent in a version of Walk Away that sounded out of tune.

I still like them but it wasn't their best night.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fight like Apes - live at King Tuts, Glasgow

I'd heard a couple of songs by this Irish band on the internet. I thought they were OK but not amazing. I'm on holiday this week and a friend noticed that they were playing at King Tuts and tickets were cheap. We decided to go.

The venue wasn't sold out but it was pretty busy for a miserable Tuesday night in Glasgow. Most of the crowd were pretty young so I felt like a pensioner. The support bands were unremarkable based on the little that I heard of them.

Fight Like Apes had a good stage presence. They are interesting to watch and the girl that sings for them is nice to look at. The songs are OK but not memorable. They seem to work best as a stand-up comedy troupe'. After each episode of obstage banter I was filled with a wave of Father Ted like deja vu. I was worried that this might be a bit racist but I discussed it with my Irish mate who went to the gig with me and he confirmed my sentiments.

I don't think I'll buy any of their CDs. I wouldn't listen to them at home. Their music isn't really serious enough for my too-cool-for-school tastes but the stage show was great and I'd probably enjoy seeing them live again.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I went to see this film yesterday expecting g ood things. I expect a film that wins 8 Oscars to be great. It was OK but not great.

The acting was generally good and the film looked good but it wasn't as good as it should have been. I don't know what would have made it better but it needed something else.

It's a love story. The hero is searching for his lost love. He meets a lot of bad people along the way. It's grim and gritty in places. It's just not world changing.